'So fixed it's unreal!' Outraged Strictly Come Dancing fans cry foul on Twitter as blundering Ed Balls continues to survive show over 'more skilled' stars
After weeks of finding himself at the bottom of Strictly Come Dancing's leaderboard, Ed Balls landed a first on Saturday when he achieved his highest score to date.
But as viewers watched Laura Whitmore get sent home after a dance-off against consistent favourite Ore Oduba, fans of the show took to Twitter in droves to express their outrage at the 49-year-old Labour MP's enduring presence.
'Just watched Strictly Come Stomp around and NOT Dance!!!! (sic),' wrote one viewer, who added: the show was 'so fixed its unreal get ed balls out... its beyond a joke now (sic).'
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Controversial: Ed Balls' unlikely success on Strictly Come Dancing has angered a large number of the show's committed fans
'If @edballs had any balls he'd do the right thing and resign from #Strictly to stop better dancers leaving. #notalentnoshame,' complained another fan of the show.
'For all those people who are saying it's Ed Balls is funny and entertaining on Strictly, I suggest you buy a dictionary. #ballsout.'
'Let's face it... Ed Balls is gonna win #Strictly,' wrote one disgruntled viewer, who added they'd 'lost all faith in the British public'.
Survivor: The politician, pictured with his dance partner Kaya Jones has consistently scored low on the show, yet continues to survive the chop each week
'Sadly @BBCOne seem to have made #Strictly about the celebration of the mediocre. The Ed Balls joke isn't funny anymore,' wrote another.
Referencing Ed's revelation during Sunday's broadcast that he'd be dancing to the PSY's infectious hit Gangnam Style next week, a viewer stated: 'Theresa May should call a snap election before Ed Balls does Gangnam Style on #Strictly next week. Otherwise he'll be Prime Minister by Xmas.'
Added another: 'I thought the US election would be the most important event of next week. Then I heard @edballs will be dancing to Gangnam Style. #strictly.'
Unhappy: Fans took to Twitter in droves to voice their disapproval over Ed's continued success
Gimme more: His blundering dance moves have been described by the judges as entertaining
Even Alan Sugar got in on the action, complaining that he was 'losing all faith' in the BBC One show.
He also wrote: Len telling public to vote for @edballs because he is entertaining. He can't dance but he's entertaining !Isn't this a dance contest?'
Aware of the criticism he has received from The Apprentice star, Ed tweeted on Wednesday: 'Hey @Lord_Sugar - I'll match your Dance-Off and raise you a Dirty Dancing lift.. You on? Any night on @bbcstrictly #ItTakesTwo.'
Support: The MP also attracted a number of supporters - including comedian David Walliams
However, while has had more than his fair share of detractors, Ed has also received much support from fans.
'Really love @edballs attitude to Strictly , giving it 100% and improving week on week,' wrote one.
Another added: 'Ed Balls is what strictly is all about. Complete novice learning to dance. Adore him and how hard he's working @edballs #strictly #edballs.'
Thick skinned: Ed has taken the criticism in his stride - and embraced his new wave of fans
Challenge: On Thursday, Ed Balls responded to Alan Sugar's criticism by challenging him to a dance-off
And among his celebrity fans is David Walliams who tweeted that he 'loved' the politician and wanted him to win the show, prompting Ed to reply: 'Cheers @davidwalliams - appreciated.'
On Sunday, Laura became the seventh contestant to be voted off the BBC One show on Sunday, after judges voted unanimously to send her home, following a bottom two dance-off against Ore Oduba.
As she learned of her fate, an emotional Laura told co-host Tess Daly of her time on the show: 'I don’t think anyone realises how much goes on here, the make-up, the costume, everything and just to be part of that for a little while is amazing.'
Out: Laura Whitmore (centre) and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice were voted off Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night. They are seen with co-host Tess Daly
Her professional dance partner, Giovanni Pernice, told the Irish TV personality: 'I would like to say again thank you for being such a great partner, an amazing person to work with, you teach me a lot and I will never ever forget this journey.'
The blonde beauty and Giovanni were named in the bottom two alongside Ore and his professional dance partner Joanne Clifton.
While Laura and Giovanni did their best to impress as they danced away to Bamboleo by Gipsy Kings, Ore and Joanne's salsa to Vicki Sue Robinson's Turn The Beat Around proved to be more impressive.
Dance off: After finding themselves in the bottom two, Laura and Giovanni danced off against Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton in a bid to save their spot
Spicy salsa! Ore and Joanne wowed as they put on a repeat performance of their salsa
Funky classic: The athletic pair danced to Vicki Sue Robinson's Turn The Beat Around
Consistent favorite: Ore has proved to be a firm favourite on the show this season
Flying high: He showed off his agility as he lifted his dance partner in the air mid-routine
Taking a dip: The pair danced energetically as they fought to keep their place on the show
First time at the bottom: The dance-off marked the first time that Ore was in the bottom two
Keep doing what you do: Joanne assured Ore that he'd been the perfect dance partner
In explaining his decision to pick sports presenter Ore as the one to save, Craig Revel Horwood said: 'One couple danced the best I’ve ever seen them dance and I think was probably their personal best; but for me, the dance of the night and who I would like to save was Ore and Joanne.'
Echoing his sentiment, fellow judge Darcey Bussell said: 'I think both couples danced exceptionally well tonight and it makes it very difficult.
'But I’d like to save the couple that I believe and know performed their best, a finished performance, was Ore and Joanne.'
Putting on a brace face: She smiled at Giovanni as she performed a repeat of her samba
Shaking it off: Laura shrugged off her sadness that was visible from the night before
Flesh flash: She also showed off her long, lean legs as she was spun around the dancefloor
The show must go on: Despite being under pressure, the star wore a huge smile on her face
Getting into the groove: She appeared to be in her element as she held Giovanni's arm
Elegant: Laura looked elegant as she glided seamlessly around the glittering ballroom
Added Bruno Tonioli: 'First off, let me say this wasn’t a dance off, it was a dance treat. You both danced with such vibrancy, energy and entertainment value, it’s like splitting hairs here.
'We didn’t put you there, if you didn’t vote, don’t moan. But I have to pick one out of the two that in a way outshone everyone else, and that couple was Ore and Joanne.'
Head Judge Len Goodman said he agreed with his colleagues and that he would have also saved Ore and Joanne.
The night before, Laura was seen squinting her eyes and sighing 'sorry' to her partner, as she looked crestfallen while to the judges' comments.
The moment of truth: Both pairs of dancers waited nervously as the judges gave their verdicts
Smiling through it: Laura smiled reservedly as she received a kiss on the cheek from Giovanni
Hard work: Laura said that she found the experience of competing on the show 'amazing'
Farewell: She hugged her competitors, after judges voted unanimously to send her home
Let's hug it out: It was mixed emotions as one pair got good news and the other bad news
One for the road: Laura received hugs from the other stars as she said her goodbyes
And yet it initially appeared that she had no need to be worried about going home, as her passionate performance earned her a respectable 32 points from the judges.
Attempting to console her, Len Goodman exclaimed: 'She is a star,' but added: 'I'd have liked [to see] a little more Laura than Giovanni!'
He also disagreed with the pace in music as he explained: 'You sacrificed technique to give us impact.'
Bruno Tonioli was full of praise, as he shouted: 'It really sizzled, you gave everything, got everyone going.'
Strictly emotional: On Saturday night's episode, Laura allowed the audience to see a softer side of her as she struggled to fight back tears after an awkward timing issue during her samba
Fancy footwork: The starlet initially appeared to have no need to be worried, as her passionate performance earned her a respectable 32 points from the judges
Onwards and upwards: Whilst the judges comments were positive and praised her hip action and 'star quality' Laura still seemed upset
Fantastic four: The judges (L-R) Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were full of praise for the performances on the night
Meanwhile, Craig Revel Horwood admitted: 'It looked a bit awkward but I thought you did a very good job.'
Darcey Bussell sympathised, sighing: 'It's a shame you lost sync,' but praised her as she explained: 'You worked those hips!'
Whilst the comments were positive, Laura still seemed upset as she explained to Claudia Winkleman: 'Sorry, I feel really bad that I messed that bit up.'
Great work: Danny Mac impressed with his first 10 of the series scoring an impressive 38 with his jive to Long Tall Sally by Little Richard
Down he goes! Danny impressed by dropping into the splits twice during his routine
Quickstepping: The pair were perfectly in sync throughout the performance
Elsewhere in the show, Danny Mac impressed with his first 10 of the series scoring an impressive 38 with his jive to Long Tall Sally by Little Richard.
Following on from his disastrous performance last week, Len remarked: 'Danny Mac, you're back!' Adding: 'That was fast foot Danny!'
Daisy Lowe and Aljaz scored an impressive 34 with their Viennese Waltz to Daisy Bell, with Bruno remarking: 'You was floating around like a weightless petal caught in a soft breeze.'
Impressive: Daisy Lowe and Aljaz scored an impressive 34 with their Viennese Waltz to Daisy Bell
Angelic: Bruno described their dance as: 'You was floating around like a weightless petal caught in a soft breeze'
Cheeky! Ore and Joanne performed the Salsa to Turn The Beat Around, with Len hilariously remarking: 'I had a blimming good look at your bum!'
Shake it! The star impressed with his hip shaking action
Ore and Joanne performed the Salsa to Turn The Beat Around, with Len hilariously remarking: 'I had a blimming good look at your bum!' following the energetic hip shaking dance.
Another surprise came in the form of Ed Balls and Katya Jones, who danced a fantastic Quickstep to Help! by The Beatles.
In a shock move, Craig confessed: 'I can't believe I'm actually saying this - you are actually improving and that's brilliant to see.'
'You're actually improving!' Another surprise came in the form of Ed Balls and Katya Jones, who performed a fantastic Quickstep to Help! by The Beatles and earned praise from Craig
Feel good fun: Another act who is famous for polarising the judges united them this week, as Judge Rinder wowed with his Quickstep
Overboard: Whilst his footwork may have impressed, his signature sassiness proved to be a bit too much for even the flamboyant Bruno to handle
Another act who is famous for polarising the judges united them this week, as Judge Rinder wowed with his Quickstep.
However, whilst his footwork may have impressed, his signature sassiness proved to be a bit too much for even the flamboyant Bruno to handle, as he scoffed: 'You don't need that trout pout!'
Yet Len was impressed, remarking: 'I was expecting Fred and Cringe, but I definitely got Fred and Ginge!'
Fantastic: All judges were in agreement, however, with the skill displayed by Louise Redknapp and and Kevin Clifton as they wowed with the first Argentine Tango on the series
Top score: Louise also bagged herself some tens on the night
Stylish but not a showstopper: Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe attempted to catch up, but couldn't rival Louise with a score of just 32 for their Viennese Waltz
All judges were in agreement, however, with the skill displayed by Louise Redknapp and and Kevin Clifton as they wowed with the first Argentine Tango on the series.
Whilst Craig may have scored nine to the audience's chagrin, the pair's impressive moves received a set of straight 10's from the other judges, rounding up their score to 39 and ensuring they topped the leaderboard.
Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe attempted to catch up, but couldn't rival Louise with a score of just 32 for their Viennese Waltz.
Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard finished off the show with a passionate Paso Doble that earned them a respectable 33 points.
Passionate in pink: Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard finished off the show with a passionate Paso Doble that earned them a respectable 33 points
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